GMAT Resources

SBC Survey Results: More MBA Applicants Drawn to Consulting, Swayed by Scholarships

SBC Survey Results: More MBA Applicants Drawn to Consulting, Swayed by Scholarships

SBC4More than 50% of business school applicants say they would attend a less desirable program if awarded a scholarship, according to SBC’s annual survey of MBA applicants.

Our survey also reported that a post-MBA career in consulting (47.9%) was the top pick, up from 39.2% last year.

After consulting, finance is the most popular post-MBA career choice, according to 26.75% of respondents this year, up from 18.37% last year.

Interest in entrepreneurship continues to grow, capturing 26.47% this year, compared to 24% last year. Technology is also a popular career choice, with 23.11 % planning to pursue a career in technology according to this year’s study.

The survey also reported that 37.69% of applicants plan to apply to five or more schools this year, down from the 44.9% that planned to apply to that many schools last year. Last year, 17.1% planned to apply to six schools and 23.34% to five schools.

At the same time, traditional two-year, full-time programs continue to be the most popular, with 85.75% of respondents considering two-year programs, 35% considering one-year programs, 14.51% considering part-time options, and only 4.13% planning to apply to online programs.

Reduced application requirements (fewer and shorter essays) motivated 51.8% of respondents to apply to more schools (down from 60.49% last year).

While video essays and interviews have become more common in the application process, they don’t get high marks from prospective students, with only 11.48% indicating video-based application elements represented them “extremely well,” 39.65% “well,” and 32.98% indicating such requirements are “limited.”

Other survey results include:

*49.47% of respondents indicated reputation is the most important factor influencing their decision to attend a particular business school, followed by 17.38% for strength of job placement, 12.7% for the culture of the program, and 8.56% for the strength of a school’s alumni network.

*Career advancement continued to rank as the top reason to attend business school at 47.76% (44.95% ranking it as most important last year), followed by career change at 32.31% (compared to 34.02%  of respondents last year).

*Interest in the GRE declined, with only 8.95% planning to take it this year, compared to 10.91% last year. Whereas 91.05% plan to take the GMAT this year, compared to 89.09% last year.

The survey was conducted with 751 respondents between May 1 and May 31, 2016. For more of my thoughts and reactions to these survey results, check out my interview with Poets & Quants.

Do you want to stay on top of the application process with timely tips like these? Follow our discussion group.

Sign up for our newsletter!

Get expert tips, exam updates and news articles to help improve your test score


Free Prep Classes

Take online classes to learn from the subject experts